Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus owing to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit examines the idea of international society as an evolving global society of states, characterised by geopolitical rivalry and contested ideas of sovereignty, which has become institutionalised through the United Nations since 1945. The unit focuses on key processes and events in the expansion of the global society of states, such as decolonisation and the Cold War. It includes an evaluation of different theoretical approaches to the phenomena of the global society of states, and some consideration of the extent to which the core institutions of this society including the United Nations have evolved through effective reform since the Cold War.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Non-standard teaching periodOnlineOnline timetabled

Students are able to (1) develop and demonstrate advanced knowledge of core theories, concepts and practices in International Relations; (2) develop and demonstrate an advanced understanding of core methods of inquiry and research in International Relations; (3) develop and demonstrate an advanced understanding of important cross-cutting themes in International Relations; (4) develop and demonstrate advanced professional writing skills for careers in International Relations; (5) develop and demonstrate research competency and advanced analytical skills for careers in International Relations; and (6) develop and demonstrate professional communication and/or cross-cultural and/or behavioural and/or networking skills for careers in International Relations.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research essay; (2) short essay; and (3) seminar participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Ky Gentry
Unit rules
POLS5621 Evolution and Structure of the International Political System
Contact hours
seminars: 18 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.